At Their Wedding in the Hamptons, This Couple Treated Guests to a Weekend of Nonstop Fun

bride and groom holding hands wearing traditional indian attire
Betsi Ewing

On their first date, Cody Plofker, the director of e-commerce at Jones Road, and Payal Patel, a physical therapist and real estate entrepreneur, went through two bottles of wine during a dinner they didn't want to end; they were in Boston for a seminar, and the trip had inevitably produced their first date. They marked every ensuing anniversary over the next few years with an experience—a cooking class here, a sporting event there. On the eve of their fifth milestone, however, the world looked a little different: "Because of COVID-19, I knew it would be hard to plan anything indoors," explains Payal, which is why they found themselves on a hike with their pup, Parker. "At one point, I had walked ahead about 10 feet, and when I turned around, Cody was down on one knee. After saying yes, I remember telling Cody to be careful with the ring in the middle of the woods—I was so scared to wear it!"

The bride-to-be originally envisioned a far-flung destination wedding, but given the state of the pandemic, decided to focus on finding a closer-to-home spot that held personal meaning. The Hamptons checked that box—Cody grew up vacationing there with his brother and parents, Steven Plofker and beauty entrepreneur and makeup artist Bobbi Brown—and was within driving distance for most of their loved ones. Payal and Cody toured 10 venues before they arrived at Gurney's Resort & Seawater Spa, and when they stepped onto the property's terrace—with views of the peaceful, comforting waters ahead—they knew it was just the place. "It was the best oasis," says Payal.

Despite a myriad of pandemic-induced challenges—which complicated the pair's custom fashion choices, their guest list, and vendor availability—the duo, under the guidance of Amanda of Amanda Barbara Events ("I can confidently say she was the best decision we made," says Payal), brought their elevated, coastal-chic wedding weekend to life. Every component of their celebration, from Friday's pre-wedding Hindu ceremonies and dance-party-meets-beach-clambake to Saturday's main event, honored the couple's personalities and melded their respective heritages. The main note that tethered each and every event together, however, was fun. It was all about "plain-and-simple YOLO vibes," notes the newlyweds. "Overall, the weekend was very 'us.' Close friends and family around us, dressed up, but casual outfits, a fun blend of Indian and American music—it was beyond words."

01 of 23

Mandvo and Pithi

colorful flowers and lanterns surrounding swimming pool
Betsi Ewing

Though Cody and Payal's wedding weekend truly began on Thursday night with a family dinner, Friday marked the first full day of events. The groom's parents, Steven Plofker and makeup mogul Bobbi Brown, hosted the pair's Mandvo and Pithi—two Hindu pre-nuptial ceremonies—at their home in Sag Harbor, New York. "We transformed the backyard into what Cody's mom called a 'color explosion!'" says Payal. "We added more color to the yard than all of the Hamptons had ever seen. It was stunning!" The main ceremony tent was embellished with gold; pink, orange, and yellow florals adorned Hindu sculptures and a traditional swing. Food stands, stocked with Indian street fare, offered a transportive culinary experience.

02 of 23

Powder Blue

bride and groom sitting on swing surrounded by flowers
Betsi Ewing

Payal—in a custom light blue saree, which she donned for the Mandvo—and Cody posed on the swing stationed in the backyard, which provided a vibrant photo backdrop for their attendees.

03 of 23

Hindu Traditions

women laughing surrounding bride pithi ceremony
Betsi Ewing

For the Pithi, the bride changed into a bright yellow Paulmi and Harsh anarkali, "which was intended to match the turmeric," notes Payal.

04 of 23

Happy Pup

dog smiling amongst wedding guests
Betsi Ewing

The duo's pup, Parker, posed happily among throngs of guests.

05 of 23

Clam Bake on the Beach

tables set for clam bake on beach
Betsi Ewing

Driftwood and palm trees were the driving motifs of their beach clambake welcome party. "We wanted to create a tropical oasis feel, but still keep the food true to the Hamptons," notes the bride.

06 of 23

Red Crush

wedding couple walking down boardwalk
Betsi Ewing

The couple envisioned a casual, but refined vibe for this portion of the wedding weekend—and dressed the part. Payal made a splash in a scarlet Staud cropped top, and off-white ruffled skirt from Ulla Johnson; Cult Gaia shoes and red drop earrings from Rebecca De Ravenel were the finishing touches.

07 of 23

Warm Welcome

wedding guests enjoying cocktail hour on beach
Betsi Ewing

A spritz bar—which served up drinks in cups emblazoned with the pair's signature monogram ("People loved the Instagram moment!" says Payal)—and a lively dance party kept attendees on their feet all night long. "My dad surprised me by getting DJ BK, who is a close friend, to come and work the event," she says, noting that he was previously booked ("I was fairly upset about it," she shares). "I ended up making a playlist of tunes, instead, which would have been very casual—but the other wedding got postponed last minute so my dad asked BK to drive out as soon as he could."

The energy, she shares, was unreal. "The music was so incredibly upbeat. We weren't planning on dancing this night (the reception was the next day) but ended up barely eating because we didn't want to stop," Payal recalls.

08 of 23

The Master at Work

makeup artist applying blush
Betsi Ewing

The easiest wedding-related decision? "Choosing who to marry!" laughs Payal. The second no-brainer was selecting her makeup artist. "I am incredibly lucky to have Bobbi as my new mother-in-law," shares Payal, noting that Bobbi was excited to dive into the world of Indian bridal makeup, which was new to her. "We did a few trials at home before choosing a look," says Payal. "It turned out perfectly!"

09 of 23

What a Spread

jones road makeup laid out
Betsi Ewing

Jones Road—Bobbi's new makeup line; Cody is the brand's director of e-commerce—was front and center in the big-day makeup kit.

10 of 23

Little Moments

bride and flower girls wearing pajamas
Betsi Ewing

The couple's two flower girls—they eventually donned blue ensembles (and floral crowns!) to match the bridesmaids—wore coordinating pajamas and posed for a snap with the bride on the morning of the wedding. During the ceremony, they unexpectedly walked down the aisle side-by-side. "They were supposed to go one after the other, but last minute, the youngest got stage fright and walked pinned up against her sister the whole time," says Payal. "It was very cute."

11 of 23

Stunning Sari

bride with bridal party wearing saris
Betsi Ewing

Payal's lengha was custom-made by Anita Dongre, "who is my absolute idol when it comes to Indian couture," she shares, noting that she intentionally chose a female designer. The garment was hand-painted in Jaipur using pichwai, a traditional art technique. "Since I was already breaking the rules by not wearing red, I loved that the paintings spoke to something traditional within my heritage," she says. Pearl sandals from Alexandre Birman added another luxe touch.

12 of 23

Family Portrait

groom with family wearing traditional indian attire
Betsi Ewing

Anita Dongre created Cody's hand-painted sherwani, as well; he posed for a portrait with his family, all wearing traditional attire, ahead of the ceremony.

13 of 23

First Look and a Twirl

groom twirling bride during first look
Betsi Ewing

The duo's first look took place right outside their cottage at Gurney's. "I was nervous before, even though I didn't need to be," says Payal. "Cody had never seen me in such a regal Indian look, but then again, I had never seen myself in one! He loved it. He told me how beautiful I looked, so naturally I was very elated and comfortable afterwards."

14 of 23

Dressed to the Nines

bride and groom with wedding party wearing traditional indian attire
Betsi Ewing

Payal's bridesmaids selected their own sarees, using a varied palette of ocean blues to guide their choices. The groomsmen's looks were less straightforward due to the pandemic: "A lot of the clothes that were available 'off the rack' did not keep with our theme," explains Payal, noting that they went the custom route to solve this problem. "They all have funny stories of getting measured by tailors and significant others—what a process! We bought the fabrics in the States, shipped them to India, and received everything just before the lockdown in India started. Luckily, everything fit perfectly!"

15 of 23

Towards the Altar

father walking bride down aisle
Betsi Ewing

The bride's father—he got his first glimpse of his daughter earlier that day, during their first look ("My dad hadn't seen my final dress, but was dying to," she says)—walked her down the aisle to romantic instrumentals. "Somehow the clouds parted just before the ceremony—the sun lit everything up with a sparkle," says Payal of this emotional moment, which brought her to tears. "It was incredible."

16 of 23

Steeped in Tradition and Sealed with a Kiss

indian wedding ceremony couple sharing kiss
Betsi Ewing

During the service, which took place against the Atlantic Ocean and was enhanced with ethereal florals and vines courtesy of Wedding Design, Cody and Payal blended components of traditional Hindu and Jewish nuptials, keeping the elements they felt most strongly about. The pair signed a ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, before walking down the aisle; it was revealed and read aloud later, during the proceedings. The ceremony itself kicked off with a garland exchange, symbolizing acceptance and respect—and also involved a moment of levity. "The bride and groom are supposed to make it hard for one another to put the garland on, as a last-minute game of chase," shares Payal. "I stepped back as Cody tried to put mine on. My side of the family laughed as they watched him struggle for a second."

The good-natured tricks continued mid-ceremony, when the flower girls stole Cody's shoes. "This is an age-old tradition—the groom then has to pay up to get the shoes back," adds Payal. "Everyone laughed as my little nieces negotiated just how much money they would accept. Turns out, Cody could have just given them M&Ms, which would have sufficed."

17 of 23

Outdoors, In

wedding reception tent with gold furniture and trees
Betsi Ewing

Gurney's terrace—which sold Payal on the venue—served as the springboard for the majority of the weekend's decorations; inspired by the point where the ocean meets the sand, and the colors that convene there, the décor felt organic to the Hamptons locale. Rattan benches surrounded square-shaped tables, which were draped in shades of cream (reminiscent of the foam on the waves) and soft blue. Jute lanterns cast a warm glow overhead and were suspended above interior trees, which brought the outside in.

18 of 23

Sky-High Centerpieces

wedding reception tablescape with tall white floral centerpieces
Betsi Ewing

Sprays of fragrant blooms were arranged by Sag Harbor Florist in tall glass vessels and surrounded by smaller arrangements of lisianthus and hydrangeas. Smoke-hued goblets offered a touch of depth to the settings, which were anchored by woven chargers and white linen napkins.

19 of 23

Outfit Change

bride and groom embracing on beach
Betsi Ewing

Payal changed into an Oscar De La Renta sheath dress for the reception; the garment's carmine poppies were a nod to her roots. "Red is traditionally worn by Indian brides and signifies new beginnings and feminine power," she says. She slipped on a few new (and borrowed!) jewels, too, courtesy of her brother's now-fiancé, Nancy Haldia, who owns Reya. Cody wore a linen ensemble from Suit Supply; he stepped into Common Projects sneakers when it was time to party.

20 of 23

Making an Entrances

parents of the bride walking and waving
Betsi Ewing

The bride's parents hit the dance floor after making their debut during the reception.

21 of 23

Spin Me Around

bride and groom sharing kiss while dancing
Betsi Ewing

"Die a Happy Man" by Thomas Rhett played during the newlyweds' first dance and transported them back to their relationship's earliest days.

22 of 23

Time to Party

wedding guests dancing at wedding reception
Betsi Ewing

DJ BK handled the reception's music portion, too. "His specialty is blending Bollywood and American music," says Payal. "It is obvious how good he is—he kept everyone on the dance floor all night long."

23 of 23


groom picking up bride on beach
Betsi Ewing

Photography and Videography, Betsi Ewing
Venue and Wedding-Day Catering, Gurney's Resort & Seawater Spa
Wedding Planning, Amanda Barbara Events
Event Design, Wedding Design
Flowers, Wedding Design (Mandvo, Pithi, wedding ceremony); Sag Harbor Florist (clambake, wedding reception)
Invitations and Day-of Paper, Ipanema Press
Bride's Wedding Attire and Veil; Groom's Attire, Anita Dongre
Bride's Shoes, Alexandre Birman (ceremony); Christian Louboutin
Hair, Herve
Makeup, Bobbi Brown, Susanna Canario
Jewelry and Wedding Bands, Reya
Guest Book, Artifact Uprising
Music, DJ BK with Luxe Event Entertainment
Catering, Khyber Grill Caterers (pre-wedding events), Gurney's Resort & Seawater Spa (wedding)
Dessert, Dreesen's Donuts
Rentals, At Your Service, Party Rentals, Lux Party Rentals
Favors, The Little Market
Lighting, Matt Murphy Event Lighting
Dhol Player, Raj Daffu

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